Surf Towns in the SoCal Suburbs

Apr 21, 2022

SoCal suburbs that embrace the surfing lifestyle.

With miles of pristine beaches and waves for every level of surfer, these towns are perfect for anyone looking to live the surfing lifestyle. Whether you’re a world-class surfer or still learning the ropes, there’s a SoCal suburb for you. From Malibu to Newport Beach, these are the top towns for surfers of all ages.

#1. Malibu

This SoCal beach town has a strong surfing culture. Although it’s the type of place where you could be neighbors with an A-list celebrity, Malibu offers a laid-back small-town vibe. Beginners often head to Zuma Beach’s North End for some calmer waves. (You might recognize this beach if you have ever watched Baywatch.)

The town’s iconic surf spot, Surfrider Beach, features several breaks and is best for more advanced wave riders. Residents will proudly tell you that this was the first beach designated as a World Surfing Reserve.

When locals need surf gear, they stop by Zuma Jay’s or Boardriders. And if your kids are ready to get on the water, both Aspects Surf Camp and Makos offer summer surf camps in town.

#2. Topanga

Topanga is an artsy town with a thriving surfing community that dates back to the 1960s. When residents need to get their creative juices flowing, they bring their boards to Topanga State Beach. It’s one of the best surfing spots around, especially for more experienced surfers. Scuba divers, fishers, and picnickers also all love this peaceful spot.

#3. Pacific Palisades

Pacific Palisades is a posh coastal community with surf spots for all ages. Sunset Point Beach is especially popular with beginners — and there’s a great local juice bar nearby where you can refuel after your surf session.

If you’ve got junior surfers in the house, consider signing them up for the local summer camp. Fitness by the Sea Beach Camp, which is held at Will Rogers Beach near Lifeguard Tower 14, includes paddleboarding, kneeboarding, swimming, and surfing lessons. Sandy Days Kids Camp also offers water sports activities near Tower 10.

#4. Santa Monica

Bay Street has been the top surf spot in Santa Monica since the 1960s. It’s a great place to start out and there are surf shops, like Bay Street Boards and Jack’s Surfboards nearby when you need some new accessories.

Santa Monica is one of the best spots to learn how to surf. Go Surf LA and Kapowui Surf Club are two top-notch surf schools in the area. Kids can also join in on the fun by signing up for Fitness by the Sea Beach Camp (there’s a Santa Monica location) or the Sandy Days Kids Camp in neighboring Pacific Palisades.

​​#5. Playa Vista

Part of “Silicon Beach” this tech community is still big on surfing. If you move to town you’ll probably find yourself spending lots of time at Dockweiler Beach. With miles of white sand, bonfire pits, an oceanfront bike trail and great surfing conditions, this is a beloved local hangout.

If your kids can’t get enough of the water, sign them up for Camp Awesome. They spend their summer days playing at the beach and meeting new friends. If they want to try a different watersport, the W.A.T.E.R. Youth Program in nearby Marina del Rey will give them the ins and outs of sailing.

#6. Manhattan Beach

Surfing enthusiasts from around the globe travel to Manhattan Beach every year for the International Surf Festival. But residents can hit the waves in this surfing hub anytime they want. El Porto is known for its reliable waves and it’s where most rid-range surfers stay.

One Wave Surf School offers lessons for beginners and coaching for experienced surfers. And when locals want a custom surfboard, they know this is the place to go.

#7. Huntington Beach

We can’t talk about SoCal surf towns without mentioning Huntington Beach – better known as “Surf City USA.” For more than 100 years, the town’s stunning coastline and consistent waves have attracted surfers of all levels. It’s even home to the International Surfing Museum and Surfer’s Hall of Fame.

Huntington Beach Pier might be the most famous of the town’s surf spots. Locals look forward to the U.S. Open of Surfing which is held here each summer. This free event is a celebration of surf culture and attracts some of the best surfers in the world. And if you move to town you’ll get to ride these waves all year long.

#8. Newport Beach

Newport Beach locals know The Wedge offers the biggest waves in town. But there are swells for every level at 15th Street and 54th/56th Street as well. Want to meet fellow surfers? The Newport Beach Boardriders Club is an active community group for both beginners and competitive surfers.

Learn to Surf offers private and group surf lessons for every skill level. But that’s just the start. Erik Nelsen, Newport Surf Camp, and Endless Sun Surf School also lead surf programs for all ages. And active kids who love all sports can join a local Skyhawks Summer Program for more summer fun in between surf lessons.

Love to be on the water? Let’s find the perfect town for you — in LA or anywhere! Contact us today to get started!

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